The 2014 Cross Country Arizona State Championships were held this past Saturday, November 8th at the Cave Creek golf course in Phoenix. Along with a challenging course we also had unseasonably hot weather. If we didn’t have record temperatures for the day we were darn close. It is a great course with lots of rolling hills that can destroy a racer if they go out too fast.

Shannon and her team were very well prepared for the race and they raced strong and smart. Shannon led the Xavier Gators home with a 9th place finish and helped the Gators to a 2nd place finish. Shannon set her own personal record on the course beating her previous best by 31 seconds! Speaking of records the race winner, Dani Jones set a course record and beat her personal best by 34 seconds.


Next up Nike Southwest.

States 2014_11_08-117157 Racers and 21 teams off the start.

States 2014_11_08-120Excitement of the start.

States 2014_11_08-125Xavier’s Shannon, Sierra, Jane and Caroline. #387 Dani Jones. Race Winner.

States 2014_11_08-134Shannon and Jane in the pack near the the front. First couple hundred meters into the race.

States 2014_11_08-155Shannon heading down a hill at about 1 1/4 mile into the race. Big crowd. Shannon is in 12th place here

States 2014_11_08-197Jane and Shannon in a front pack just after the 2 mile mark.

States 2014_11_08-258Shannon with less that 1000 meters to go. Shannon is in 9th place and would hold 9th place to the finish. Jane moved up to 10th place.

States 2014_11_08-263Nothing to do but finish.States 2014_11_08-371

States 2014_11_08-373

States 2014_11_08-390Daddy is happy too!!

States 2014_11_08-391Congratulations to Jane, Shannon and the 2014 Xavier Gators.

States 2014_11_08-396Top 21. Xavier Gators. Sierra, Jane, and Shannon.

States 2014_11_08-401Well Done Xavier 7. Jane, Shannon, Caroline, Shannon, Tessa, Sarah, Sierra.

States 2014_11_08-406Congratulations Xavier Gators!!! It’s not over yet. Eden, Jane, Shannon, Caroline, Vitto, Shannon, Tessa, Sarah, Sierra, Dave.

2014 Arizona States Championships Division 1 video.


Xavier College Preparatory link.


Xavier Cross Country Sectional Meet 10-31-14

The Xavier Cross Country team headed to Gilbert, AZ on Halloween for their mid-day Sectional meet. Even for Arizona it was hot for the end of October. Xavier won their division convincingly putting 5 in the top 13 and qualifying for next weekend’s state meet.

Shannon had quite the race. Shortly after the start Shannon moved to the front and led the field for a while. Shannon stayed strong through out the race and finished a solid 4th.

Sectionals 2014_10_31-101Pre-race pep talk.Sectionals 2014_10_31-107Race Start.Sectionals 2014_10_31-133Shannon Leading the Field.Sectionals 2014_10_31-140Shannon in P1.Sectionals 2014_10_31-381Heading to the Line.Sectionals 2014_10_31-384Finishing strong.Sectionals 2014_10_31-487Xavier 1st Place

Xavier Cross Country Sectional  video

Xavier Sectional meet result

Desert Twilight XC Festival 10-03-2014

The Xavier Gators returned to Arizona with great confidence after their strong performance in California two weeks prior.

The Desert Twilight Cross Country Festival is Arizona’s largest and most unique cross country meet. Raced under the lights on a flat and fast course. Desert Twilight attracts schools from across the nation. This year there was a big presence of schools from Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. The same course will be used in a few weeks for the Nike Southwest qualifier.

Shannon again ran in a Sweepstakes race which had 21 teams and 152 girls. Shannon again showed good form and strength. Shannon finished 22 overall, was the 2nd Gator in and had 41 second PR! The Gators finished second.

Shannon’s time on the 5K course was a 18:12.67. Full results.

Desert Twilight 2014_10_03-179Warming up.Desert Twilight 2014_10_03-176Shaking out the legs

Desert Twilight 2014_10_03-191On the starting line receiving instructions.Desert Twilight 2014_10_03-195Shannon’s biggest fan. Heading to the other side of the course for the start.Desert Twilight 2014_10_03-204And yet more instructions.Desert Twilight 2014_10_03-211And they are off. Desert Twilight 2014_10_03-228Shortly after the start and near the front.Desert Twilight 2014_10_03-236Early in the race with teammate Jane Miller.Desert Twilight 2014_10_03-293Moving up through the pack.Desert Twilight 2014_10_03-381Heading to the finishing straight.Desert Twilight 2014_10_03-389Bringing it home. Desert Twilight 2014_10_03-467 Desert Twilight 2014_10_03-508 Desert Twilight 2014_10_03-534With their hardware. Xavier took 2nd. Well done!

Xavier Cross Country goes to California.

Shannon and her Xavier Cross Country team headed over to southern California this past weekend for the 34th Annual Woodbridge Cross Country Classic. The course was flat, fast and the field featured some of the top High School runners in the nation.

The race was run under the lights in cool weather on a fast 3 mile course. There were about 160 runners in the sweepstakes race. Also a great race atmosphere with a loud and big crowd.Woodbridge CC Classic 2014_09_20-228

The plan for Xavier going into the race was to stay together as a pack and run 6 minute mile splits for the first two miles then blow out the last mile. From where we watched the race we were able to see the girls come by three times in the first mile.Woodbridge CC Classic 2014_09_20-247

Woodbridge CC Classic 2014_09_20-250The pace off the start was fast and the 6 minute mile pace was quickly scrapped. Early off the start line and by us for the first time Xavier was close to the back. By the second time by they had started moving up and the third time by, at the mile mark they were about mid-pack. The race leader and eventual winner, Destiny Collins (ranked number 1 in the country) ran the first mile in 5:04. She had about a 20 second gap on the next pack through. We didn’t get a mile split for Shannon and her teammates but we figure they came through at about 5:40.Woodbridge CC Classic 2014_09_20-262

Woodbridge CC Classic 2014_09_20-335

Woodbridge CC Classic 2014_09_20-336

The course was great for spectators as they wound through the park and we were able to see them at three different locations. 

Woodbridge CC Classic 2014_09_20-343

Woodbridge CC Classic 2014_09_20-344

Shannon held strong throughout the race and had a great finish. I think it was her best High School race. Shannon crossed the line at 17:42, a 50 second PR! (Personal record) and second Xavier girl in. Most of the cross country meets that Shannon has been running are 3.1 miles so Shannon’s previous 3 mile best time was in her freshman year. That being the case though if she can run as strong in her next races she should have more PRs coming.

Woodbridge CC Classic 2014_09_20-381


Sweepstakes results

Video You can see Shannon in the video at: 1:04 far side, 1:39 far side, 2:25 and 7:56.

Race report. Shannon does get a mention.


2014 Xavier Cross Country Season is off to a good start.

Shannon and her Xavier cross country team headed up to Flagstaff this past Saturday for the Peaks XC Invitational. Shannon finished 6th overall and her team won the meet. For this season the team is deploying a pack running strategy. Looks like they nailed it.

Peaks XC Invitational 2014_09_06-169

Lining up for the start.

Peaks XC Invitational 2014_09_06-176

Early in the pack.

Peaks XC Invitational 2014_09_06-180

Still early in the race. Between 200 – 300 meters into the race.

Peaks XC Invitational 2014_09_06-196

The Captain checking on her team.

Peaks XC Invitational 2014_09_06-197 Peaks XC Invitational 2014_09_06-250 Peaks XC Invitational 2014_09_06-272

Peaks XC Invitational 2014_09_06-328

2014 Peaks XC Invitational Champions.

Molvins for the Cure. Part II

Another Race for the Cure is in the books.Once again we had a great time, the weather was great, the crowd was great, and once again I was humbled by all the support. I am always amazed with this event. There is an energy at these events that I just cannot put into words. The Human spirit and strength is just simply amazing.

We arrived early so we could get our swag.

Getting our swag bags.

We designed and made our shirts a couple days before the race.

Showing off our shirts.

We met up with friends

We are Strong. Molly, Shannon, Jessica, Amanda

A great turnout for the event with the crowd was estimated at over 30,000.

5k crowd

Lining up for the race

Faces. Shannon and Jessica

Shannon and Amanda

Looking Sassy, Molly

Marla and Lou


The Shirts

Sporting support

More support

And more support


New Tat?

New Tat?



Molvins for the Cure

Great news… It’s that time of year again.

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. To Donate please click this link.

Marla, Amanda, Shannon, Molly and I will be running in the Race for the Cure October 9th, 2011. The run has become a family tradition.

Pretty in Pink

A tradition that includes many friends and one that I hope continues for a long long time.

Friends for the Cure

Why I run

I love how the girls really get into it. We make our own special shirts each year.

We run for....

The shirts feature names of family and friends that we have either lost to cancer or are survivors of cancer.

Why we run

It is really hard to describe how awe inspiring the Race for the Cure is. I am humbled every year at this run. You hear remarkable stories of survivorship, the battles lost, the on-going fights, how families, friends, strangers, and communities come together for the cause, the cure.

Friends run too

If you would like to help in the fight to cure for cancer click Find a Cure

Come on out and join the fight.

We are Strong

We will run for the Cure



We Are Blessed, We Will Run! We Run For You!


A Saturday to Remember

Once again our Saturday got off to a pre-dawn start. I headed out with Amanda for cross country training. The run started at the high school and headed over to the Phoenix Preserve for some trail running and hill work. Amanda lost her rookie stripes on the run with a big crash, no worries though as she finished the run strong.

Wounded Warrior

I think she was actually looking forward to showing off her scrapes and bruises at the homecoming dance Saturday evening.

Right after cross country practice we went to watch Molly play in her schools softball festival.

In the Ready

Got it

Nice stance

Molly played a couple really good games, got a few hits,

Is this a wardrobe malfunction?

scored a couple of runs,

Rounding First


Ball, please don't hit me!


Heading to Third

but the highlight was Molly filling in for the catcher who had been hurt earlier in the first game.

I'm ready

Warming up


Catcher in the making















We even had a hawk watching the action.

Best seat in the house

Later in the day we met up with Amanda to take some photos of her and friends before they headed to the Homecoming dance.

Daddy's Girl








My little girl is all grown up!

She grew up too fast

The gang











All About the Run or What Doesn’t Kill You Makes you Stronger.

Last week I am not sure what I was thinking or how I survived. Six runs in four days!  OK that may not be entirely correct. I know what I was thinking and that was that any chance I have to run with my daughters I must take it.

Amanda is running on the Shadow Mountain High School cross country team and Molly is running with Go the Distance running club.

I was asked to run with Amanda’s team on Tuesday and Thursday mornings to provide protection as there have been a few incidents of stranger danger recently in the area. Not sure what I could offer in the protection area but I took it as an opportunity to run with Amanda.

Molly’s GTD cross country started last Monday and as in seasons past I and other parents run with the team. Usually we spread out through the run and just try to keep the kids from getting lost. My thinking is I get my workout in, get free coaching, and get to run with Molly.

If a Little is Good a Lot is Better.

I was feeling well until out on run number 5, Thursday morning’s SMHS run. With about a half mile left in the run the body said no more. I think I hit what is referred to as the wall. I had depleted all my energy stores. It was quite a weird feeling, weak and little tingly feeling but luckily I knew what was happening (similar to bonking on the bike to which I am familiar with) and was able to slow down the pace and finish the run. I had to somehow recover and recover quick as I only had twelve hours before the next run, Road Runner Sports Adventure run.

I got home after the run before work and started pouring in the food and recovery drinks. Chocolate milk and oatmeal featured well throughout the day. I felt weak all day but kept trying to replenish my body. I will admit I thought about not running Thursday night but I had already made plans to meet a friend at the run. I had to run. Before the run I ate a couple Honeystinger waffles, chews, and GUs. Surprisingly I was able to run and actually felt good throughout the run. I think what helped to keep me going was the knowledge that I had a couple of Deschute’s Black Butte Porters awaiting me at the finish.

I survived,

I would probably do it all again. Oh wait I have to do it all again, next week. Maybe I’ll bow out of a run or two.


Amanda Soldiers on.

Amanda’s second cross country meet was that of a warrior mentality. Amanda has been fighting a sore knee for a while. On our doctor’s advice Amanda took one week off from running. Her knee will continue to be sore but she is not risking injury. As it was time for her to resume running she came down ill. She missed school Wednesday but by Wednesday evening was feeling a bit better and said she was running with the team Thursday. Thursday morning I checked on her to see if she was running, I figured no way but Amanda told me that if she didn’t run Thursday then she couldn’t run in the meet Saturday. I can’t tell you how proud I was to hear her determination. Amanda made it through training but said it hurt and felt like she hadn’t been training at all. Tough, tough gal!

Saturday cross country meet was the Chandler Invitational, 36 teams. Races divisions are by class year. There were about 110 girls in Amanda’s JR year race division.

SMHS At the start.


Amanda got off to a good start.

Showing good form


The Az heat showed up again but that just meant that there was water available on the course.


Amanda always has a strong finish.

The Catch

The Pass

Shannon even showed up and showed her support.